I love my local DMV

I do.  I really and truly do.

Yesterday, ready to head down to Orange Country to take photos, I realized my driver’s license was gone.  Did the usual; search and destroy the clean-ish house, yell at my family, call everywhere we went the day before, but it was gone.  Sulking, I went back to my laptop to make an appointment online for the DMV.  The earliest they could get me in was on July 15th at the DMV on Hope St.  So not my local DMV.

After putting my drama on plurk and twitter, I decided to see what my local DMV looked like for walk-ins. For appointments and walk-ins, the time for waiting for 0:00.  I grabbed my stuff, gave the laptop one last look; walk-ins 0:03.  Despite having expired tags and no driver’s license, I sped down the street and 3 minutes later pulled into the parking lot.  I walked into the DMV at 12:07 and got my form and number (G214).  G209 was called as I started to write my name.  By the time I finished the form, they were on G211 and it was 12:09.  I sat down, plurked a message and as soon as I hit send, G214 was called.  I don’t remember the name of the gentleman who helped me, only because I was out of there with a new temporary license in 7 minutes.


I went to Chano’s (yuck) afterwards and it took more than twice as long to order and receive my food.

But I was struck by the difference between this and my experiences at the DMVs in Hollywood and Santa Monica.  The last time I went to the DMV in Hollywood, I had an appointment and still spent almost 3 hours there.  So, much love to the Lincoln Heights DMV.  You guys restored my faith in state run departments.

6 thoughts on “I love my local DMV”

  1. West Covina moves really fast and easy appts here in the SGV.
    Pasadena…fah-get-about-it even appts hard to get and never on time.

  2. My insurance agent gave me a tip about the Pasadena office, which is the only one I use. If you don’t have an appt, get there about 20 minutes before they close. They move real fast when people in line keep them from going home. I’ve done this twice and it’s worked both times. Otherwise it’s an appt or (better yet if possible) the AAA.

  3. When we lived in Santa Monica, everyone told us to go to Culver, but I didn’t. We were there for almost 5 hours. I waited for over an hour to take the driving test (written) and my husband stood in line for 2 hours to get his car registered. Then we had to wait and wait and wait for me to take my eye exam and get the pic taken.

    That was weird for me because the West Covina DMV was so efficient when I was a kid, that all that was done within an hour and I think I waited for maybe 20 min.

    I remember once at the Hollywood DMV, this girl was waiting for her driving test. I got there at 3 and she had already been waiting for 2 hours. Time went on, I got called around 5 and she asked when she was going to get the driving test. The guy behind the counter said, “Oh, all of our driver’s are out today. You can come back tomorrow.” There was a scene.

  4. Being a California driver for the past twenty years, I’ve been to many of DMV offices: San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Hollywood (Cole Avenue), West Covina, and Lincoln Heights. They were all miserably crowded bastions of despair. Lincoln Heights DMV was the exception.

    Two years ago I went there and took my new photo (in my formal wear, no less) with no problems what so ever. In fact, I don’t remember seeing any lines there that morning either!

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